Leggo My Ego

I’ve been waiting for this night for seven years! I write about ego in NIGHTFALL, talk about it, how it can affect choices. I don’t actually lecture about it, making the narrative a freaking lecture, which was how I felt Dan Brown was doing in THE SYMBOL. I just weaved the affects of ego through the narrative, hoping that I’ve communicated my views through subtext.

Broke Back

Broke Back

Tonight was a historic night.

One of the most talked about UFC fights was UFC 162, Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman (pictured left). Silva (pictured right) has been the reigning middle weight (185 lb) champion for the past seven years. In mixed martial arts (MMA), that is unheard of because no one has accomplished that, save Silva.

I’ve always felt that Silva had an ego, though you'd never know with the words he uses. Like a shark that can sense blood from a thousand miles away, I can sense a person's ego. We see evidence of Silva's arrogance in his previous fights when he taunts his opponents, giving little respect, despite the fact that he says he respects every single opponent.

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Actions speaks louder than words. Women know this. I know this. Does this make me a woman?

Silva’s fights always starts with some form of reading his opponent, where they’ll attempt some form of attack, but Silva always evades, doing calculations like a supercomputer, reading their reach, timing, rhythm, skill, mind set, etc. And once he’s done with his calculations, he pounces and often finishes his opponents in the second round.

When the main event of UFC 162 started, I saw Silva come out, completely relaxed. Weidman charges to the middle of the octagon, also relaxed. In spite of Weidman, who is a very accomplished wrestler, taking Silva to the mat, the champion easily evaded all submissions attempts and got back to his feet. A few moments later, Silva’s supercomputer was on its way to finishing the calculations. I know this because when the champion starts taunting the challenger, he'd figured out Weidman. My body reacted from watching all of Silva's other fights, expecting a huge knock out finish of the challenger. From my point of view, Weidman seemed lost, but he also looked relaxed, a good thing. End first round.

Here’s the important part. When the second round began, Silva came out and taunted Weidman again. When Weidman tried to strike, Silva would dodge and move as if the challenger had nothing on him. The champion even pretended he was hurt when a punch grazed by his cheeks, an expert at going with the flow of punches, making him very difficult to knock out. More taunting, show boating ensued, something the fans of the UFC, and me, were used to.

Then it came. Weidman threw a combination, which was a little messy but worked because a half-hearted back fist had forced Silva’s head to flow left, and he blinked. Weidman quickly followed it with a punch to the chin, knocking down (out even as Silva’s eyes rolled up) the former champion. Weidman then followed Silva with punches to the ground to make sure he was done.

Knocked Tha Ef Out

Knocked Tha Ef Out

So this is a long diatribe about how ego can be anyone’s downfall. I’m not saying I don’t have one, but I’m aware of it enough to not let it step in front of me and control my actions. Most of the time.

Ego has brought down civilizations, religions war over which god is better killing millions upon millions, corporations have withered away when the focus is on material wealth rather than serving the people. Sometimes it takes time. I mean, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it took a damn long time before it fell. Israel is still a subject of huge contention. Blackberry and Microsoft were caught with their pants down when Apple released the iPhone.

I’ve written how I’ve left my martial arts school because I didn’t believe in them anymore, their form of teaching, and the egos displayed in every inch of that school. They commented on my website, trying to dissuade me from my opinion, and as I’ve written here, I don’t read reviews unless I’ve solicited for it. My former school, on the other hand, have changed part of their system to accommodate for my criticism, and failed because they simply didn’t understand my article and the simple truth about how humans learn physical movement. The crazy part is that article listed simple things they could do to improve their student’s abilities. Dorks.

Yes, I do have a spy there. And they will never figure out whom. If they did, oops. Sorry, dude. Or dudet.

Do You Feel Guilty Feeling Attractive?

In my side story, the character, Noshee, was a cheater.  It's part of his backstory.  If you'd like to read the side stories check them out here. I'd talked to a friend about attraction.  In the context of marriage.  He's been married for several years and loves his wife dearly.

One day he stood in a never ending line at Starbucks, totally submerged in his crackberry.  A woman bumped him from behind by accident and apologized.  My friend turned around, smiled, and said, "No problem."

Her red lips widened, revealing her white teeth.  "Aren't those addicting?"

"Ugh.  I can't help but check my emails everytime my phone vibrates."

The blond-haired lady took out her iPhone from her purse and waved it.  "Tell me about it."

After receiving their coffees, they stood off to the side.  What happened next was a fury of non-sexual flirting.  My friend found himself cracking jokes.  She laughed and crinkled her nose.  He  listened to her personal stories of work life, egged her on with penetrating questions.   She noticeably became intrigued by him, not taking any notice of the morning sun glinting off his wedding band.

Interesting.

It wasn't until he mentioned his wife did she withdraw and exclaimed she'd better not be late today.

Unlike my character, my friend didn't follow through with his instincts.  But was he in the wrong for feeling attracted to the nice blond lady?  Most people would judge him in the wrong.  And for those who would dare judge him, he felt guilty.

Everybody gets up in morning, brushes their teeth, washes their face, fix their hair, applies makeup if you're a woman, or a guy if you're like that, puts on nice duds, maybe spritz some eau de toilette or parfum, and leave the house looking like a million bucks.  Lo and behold even married people do this.

Why?

"I wanna look nice."

OK.  Why?

To look attractive.  What my friend did, by following his instincts to be attractive, to lure the woman in, is his way.  It's always been  his way.  It's how men through out our animal history have been.  We want to attract women.

Are women guilty of this?  Hell yeah!  Married or not, women love it when guys find them hot.  It makes them feel good.  It can help boost their confidence.  And I'd suggest they play along.  Have fun.  That's why they have girls' night out.  They want to be checked out in a protective environment among other hens, while the cocks, that's roosters for you gutter-minded, prance around in heat.  Stalkers please keep out.

I told my friend not to feel guilty.  Guilt, something I explore at length in my book, is a victim emotion.  That is left for another post.  His instinct of  feeling attractive, to want to talk to other women, is an ingrained behavior.  That's how his greatest of grandfathers, the Geico caveman, spread his genes.  The human side, the conscious side of our minds, shouldn't follow through with an affair, like Noshee did.

In the end, my friend went home with a surprise bouquet of bright red tulips.  He realized through his guilt that he loved his wife, appreciated the home they've built and got it on.  Actually, I don't know if he got it on.

Intensity

When I taught at my old martial arts school, one thing we taught was intensity coupled with kiaing.  For those of you who don't know, kiaing is a short or long scream or yell while striking.  But let me tell you.  Our school used to kiai at the top of our lungs (one of the reasons I left the school). First off, no one fights like this.  You'd spend more energy yelling your head off if you did.  The worst part is when a student ends their technique with a five minute kiai, long after the strike has been delivered.  Their philosophy is that in a fight or a life and death situation people tend to forget to breath.  And that's true.  That's why when you listen to boxers fight, they breath out crisply with a hiss.  Kinda like a cobra striking.

During belt tests, we would watch students scream as they performed their techniques.  We would then convene and discuss each students' intensity as if we were judging the taste of wine.

Pure crap! (see my bio)

Then I go to the gym, and I see very little intensity.  I'll give you an example.

This girl who was doing leg presses caught my eye.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  She was hot.  Just because she wore tight black ankle pants that showed off her narrow waist, flowing down to her round hips, a bright pink top that accentuated her bust line, showing off her flat stomach, and she pouted her red plush lips and flung long brown hair, doesn't mean I found her attractive.  What caught my eye was her lacsadaisical leg presses as she leisurely texted on her blackberry.

I don't think she's very focused.

Or a guy who does one set of  curls, talks to his friend for twenty minutes, does another set, wipes his forehead, and continues his conversation about the the hot girl doing the leg presses, is not focused on his workout.  Then he complains that whatever he does, he can't seem to get the definition or size he wants.

I wonder why?

I love working out, but I don't spend much time at the gym.  Do your workout.  Hit it hard.  Get your heart pumping.  Increase your metabolism.  Then leave.

Is this prevalent in other gyms?